Industrial Revolution Source-Based Essay

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The use of children and women in the factories and workplace negatively affected England socially – these negative aspects include the working conditions as a whole which are broken down into the injuries in the working place, the lack of safety, punishment, misuse and abuse, death, slavery and the living conditions. Source A illustrates how harsh the working conditions were in the factories and the outcome of these horrendous working conditions is the immense amount of injuries that occurred in the workplace. “He had seen many people in the streets of Manchester without arms and legs that it was like ‘living in the midst of the army just returned from a campaign’.” This tells us just how many injuries took place in the factories to children and that most of the injuries resulted in the children either losing their limbs or becoming disabled in some way. In Source B Dr Ward from Manchester explains how the accidents that occurred in the factories where children would have their arms and fingers caught in the machinery which would result in them having their muscle and skin stripped down to the bone and most of them lost fingers. “There were forty-seven injured in this way.” This quote tells us the amount of children that were harmed at the Lever Street School where one half of the children there sustained injuries from the machinery. Most of the injuries that occurred in the factories weren’t minor, a lot of the injuries caused the children and women to become disabled and deformed and caused many of them to die at a very young age. “When I worked about half a year a weakness fell into my knees and ankles: it continued, and it got worse and worse.” This is what Joseph Hebergram answered in Source I after the interviewer asked him how the labour affected his limbs. This interview clearly depicts the effects the injuries had on the lives of the children. The injuries that took place in the factories is probably the greatest aspect that negatively affected England socially.

Another negative aspect is the lack of safety and the hazardous conditions that the women and children were forced to work in. Many of the machines that were used in the factories were not secure and none of the factories had any safety regulations. Source A tells us how many of the injuries that occurred in the factories were from working with the various machines. “One hospital reported that every year it treated nearly a thousand people for wounds and mutilations caused by machines in factories.” What also took place is that after the machines injured a worker said machine would not be inspected or adjusted to be less harmful. “There are factories, no means few in number, nor confined to the smaller mills, in which serious accidents are continually occurring, and in which, notwithstanding, dangerous parts of the machinery are allowed to remain unfenced.” These machines caused a lot of children and other factory workers to lose members of their bodies. In the coal mines the tunnels were very narrow and were not very high so the workers in the mines could barely kneel in the tunnels yet they were expected to pull heavy carts of coal through the tunnels. “Thick, choking coal dust filled their lungs as they crawled through the darkness, their knees scraping on the rough surface and their muscles contracting with pain.” Because of the dust in the mines many miners died from lung cancer and other lung diseases before the age of 25. The Match Makers also suffered as the phosphorous fumes that were emitted when the matches were made left them with empty cheeks that oozed a stinking liquid. “The substance ate at their jawbones, leading to brain damage and eventually death from organ failure.” The safety hazards in the glass factories were also very awful as they were burned and blinded from the intense heat and were poisoned by the clay dust in the potteries which caused them to faint from vomiting.

Many of the children were punished severely whenever they...
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